Ayushmann beats Hrithik to China

Photo: Sanskriti Media

China’s favourite Indian actor Aamir Khan along with Sara Ali Khan may now have gone missing from the home page of the Chinese brand of phones they endorse after the border skirmish and the subsequent banning of some Chinese apps by the Indian government. But whether mainstream Bollywood films will be able to release in China or not in a few months remains to be seen. Before the India-China skirmish at the border, Reliance group CEO Shibashish Sarkar had confirmed to us that the Hrithik Roshan starrer Super 30 had been submitted for the Chinese censors in November last year and was awaiting the clearance when the pandemic struck China first.  “In China the censor is a six-month long process. We applied for the censor in November last year. We were in the midst of the process when everything shut down there.  When things start, we first wait for the censor to happen and then the censor body decides the date and time. We are in the queue and looking forward,” he had mentioned.

But then the work of actors like Akshaye Khanna, Ayushmann Khurrana, Richa Chaddha and Adil Hussain has managed to scale the Great Wall. In an interesting development the Shanghai International Film Festival at China took on Monday with screening of many released and unreleased Indian films.

While Anubhav Sinha’s 2019 social drama Article 15 starring Ayushmann Khurrana is being screened there, Rajat Kapoors RK/R Kay a partially crowd funded film is also being shown there. Arati Kadav’s film Cargo screened last year at MAMI and which couldn’t release due to the lockdown is also being shown at the festival. Another interesting film being shown at the festival is the master auteur Goutam Ghose’s film Raahgir also called The Wayfarers for the festival circuit. The film starring Adil Hussain, Tilattama Shome and Neeraj Kabi was shot in Jharkhand last year. Adil Hussain who plays a daily wage labourer in The Wayfarers plays a cycle rickshaw driver in Prakash Jha’s film Pareeksha. Also being shown is Ajay Bahl’s controversial film with Akshaye Khanna and Richa Chaddha.

Amit Agarwal, producer of The Wayfarers, says that it was rather good that they kept the Indian films at the festival despite the tensions between the two countries. “We had already submitted the entries long ago and we knew that the films were to be screened. Work of a filmmaker like Ghose is too precious for anyone to miss,” he says.

The festival which kicked off on Monday will carry on till August 2.

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